Ouch! The Ptolus session turned lethal this fortnight.
We picked up immediately from last time with Sebastian being spotted by Nick and invited into the Cock Pit to join him and Castalla. The club was dedicated to cockfighting and gambling games, notably a roulette-like game of chance called
mrathrach. Castalla was openly disdainful of mrathrach though, and instead steered Bastian towards a mah-jong-like game of skill. Seb promptly lost his 10gp stake, and instead spent the rest of the evening walking the mist-filled and moonlit streets of South Market with Castalla.
Brother Logan was meanwhile delving the sewers beneath the Temple District with cheese in hand, seeking to bring the word of Lothian to the ratmen. He stepped into a gray ooze before finding any of the ratlings though, and had his banded mail burnt through by the creature's caustic touch in the ensuing struggle. Jettisoning the ruined armor left him sufficiently fleet of foot to escape with his life, if not his pride. Oozes aren't swift pursuers.
Theoday, 16th of Wind 721 IA
Marcus started the morning by dunking Cale in a font of holy water and doing a proper exorcism to expunge Dieter's taint. Following that, everyone headed to St Valien's for the weekly service. The big news at the sermon was that the war to liberate the holy city of Tarsis from the Nallish infidels had been officially declared. The Church would be on the march next week, and the laity were exhorted to sign up and swell the ranks.
After breakfast, the team headed over to the Ghostly Minstrel to check out the wanted posters. They picked out the necromancer Rullus Hobb as their next quarry. The rest of the afternoon was spent sniffing around for clues as to his whereabouts. The Keepers of the Veil at the gate to the Necropolis assured Logan that Hobb hadn't been there, and the only clue Cale and Sebastian could uncover was that he'd once hidden out at the abandoned Pythoness House in Oldtown. Checking the city archives, Sebastian turned up deed transfers for a string of former owners, multiple licenses to extend the building, and legal records relating to the operation of an unlicensed brothel at the site. More alarmingly, the Knights of the Pale told Logan that they'd raided the place three years ago, driven out chaos cultists and demons, and sealed it to prevent their return.
Logan took the opportunity to buy himself a shiny new set of half-plate armor to replace his ooze-eaten banded mail. While being fitted, he was quizzed by a young delver who was thinking of signing up for the holy war. The new armor needed explanation, and the story of Logan's misadventure in the sewer came out. Marcus was quite cross at Logan, and ordered him explicitly not to go on any more solo missions without obtaining clearance.
Mali's dream that night was of standing on the edge the dizzying Grand Abyss and being drawn into it.
quillblade's reaction to this dream was to pack a featherfall spell the next day. An excellent choice, considering the architecture of Pythoness House.
Kingsday, 17th of Wind 721 IA
The team headed through the Dalengard gate to Oldtown and Pythoness House the next morning. It was a tall manor house on an overgrown hill lot, surrounded by a wrought-iron fence. The history of remodeling was obvious, as the building was a patchwork of different kind of masonry and crowned with a muddle of towers connected by odd-shaped battlements, bridges, and flyovers. Scouting the perimeter turned up nothing more than a collapsed wooden balcony at the back of the house, so the team headed under the barbican and into the courtyard.
Cale disturbed the body of some benighted soul who'd been dumped in the well, which proceeded to crawl out and fling itself at Marcus. Scant seconds after Mali killed it with fire, things went horribly, horribly wrong. Logan entered the manor through an archway and walked into a ratman ambush. Two ratlings were concealed on the shelf above the doorway with powder bombs, and an enormous, chaos-mutated ratbrute was lurking inside with a third ratling. The ensuing battle went dreadfully for the team, mostly due to the brute's reach making it so difficult to close or disengage. Sebastian was knocked unconscious during the battle, but first Logan and then Cale were killed outright. Their sacrifice did prevent the ratbrute from charging the Andovars though, allowing Marcus to resuscitate Sebastian and Mali to quaff a potion of levitate. Once safely off the ground, Mali killed it with fire. She also burnt the shelf out from under the ratlings, killing them with fire too.
Stunned by the tragic turn of events, the remainder of the team gathered their dead and attempted to withdraw, only to discover their egress blocked by a wall of force. Fortunately Mali's levitation was still in effect and allowed her to float up and attach a rope to the crenellations on top of the barbican. While aloft she attracted the attention of a hideous creature apparently cobbled together from random body parts: it had 2 heads, three arms, and even metal fasteners. It couldn't reach her from the bridge it was standing on, so she drove it away with fire. Marcus and Sebastian were then able to climb over the barbican with Logan and Cale's bodies in tow.
The rest of the afternoon was spent calling in favors and scraping together the cash to have Cale and Logan raised. The witchlight reservoir was traded for one of the diamond material components, the second was purchased for cash, and the team's good standing with the Church was enough to waive the usual casting fee. It was arranged for the ritual to be performed the next day at dawn at St Valien's.
Back at the Chapterhouse that evening, Marcus was consumed with guilt that his last words to Logan had been harsh ones. Sister Joan then hit him with further bad news: the Church was reallocating resources towards the holy war, and word was that the Conciliators were likely to be all but dismantled. The argument went that the inquisition was archaic and unpopular, and that the City Watch felt that controlling crime was its jurisdiction. Joan felt that her mentor Ignatius's legacy was being betrayed, and Marcus was finally pushed over the edge and decided to claim the Hammer of St Malleus, for clearly someone needed to protect the Church from its own misguided politics.
Airday, 18th of Wind 721 IA
The next day at dawn His Holiness the Archbishop Adlam Theobold shuffled into St Valien's Cathedral, escorted by a pair of nuns, and called Brother Logan and Cale back for further services to Lothian in the mortal realm.
The Archbishop immediately attracted the monickerPope Palpatine. You had to be there:The Faith is strong in this one…
The team headed back to the Chapterhouse, finding an Order of Dawn team touring the place and making notes about how much space could be freed up by putting the library into storage. Logan planted the suggestion of storing some of it in private residences such as Sister Joan's. And then the team headed back for their rematch with the evil of Pythoness House.
The slain ratmen were still there, although something had picked the bones clean in the meantime. As before, a wall of force blocked off the barbican gate soon after everyone was inside the courtyard. Their further exploration of the first floor turned up a series of boudoirs, one of which was haunted by undead prostitutes. Cale's immediate reaction of closing the door gave the team a huge tactical edge, allowing them to dispatch the grappling corpses one at a time through the bottleneck of the doorway. After dispatching the undead, the team investigated a life-sized bronze statue of a former chaos cultists. Skidmarks on the floor revealed that it slid somehow, but the collective brawn of the team was insufficient to budge it.
We'll pick up next time as the group heads up to the second floor of the house.
The player deaths this session knocked the XP tallies all over the place. The rule for being raised from the dead is that the character loses a level and resets their XP to the halfway point between their new level and the next. In both Cale and Logan's case, dying at level 4 and being raised dropped them to level 3 with 4500 XP.
|EL||Encounter||— Experience Point Awards —|
|Total XP after session 13||6315||6552||6527||7427||6627|
Pythoness House courtyard
|Total XP after session 14||4860||4860||7337||8237||7437|
It's too fiddly to subtract skill ranks from the characters who dropped to level 3, so I'm just going to handwave and let them keep their level 4 skills. If either ristin or brisdrake would prefer to lose the ranks so that they can reallocate them when they get back to level 4, I'm cool with that as well.
Insofar as possession go, there wasn't any dramatic treasure gained, but just about all the liquid cash and the witchlight reservoir were soaked up to fund the raise dead castings. Logan's now wearing half-plate armor, and Marcus is carrying both the Hammer of St Malleus and Springtime, the +1 hideaway longspear.
Here's the reworked stat block for Brother Logan, amended as requested.
There have been fresh suggestions of moving the game to Saturday. I'm entirely willing to oblige if everyone can agree.